MIAMI (WSVN) - A South Florida mother expressed her gratitude to the doctors behind the medical breakthrough that saved her and her baby daughter’s lives.

Less than three months ago, Lily Silva was preparing her four children for life without her. She wrote them letters about how to behave, how to treat people and how to overcome challenges.

“I just kept thinking, not of dying but of leaving my kids without a mother, and that’s what hit me hard,” she said.

There have been some challenging days for her and her husband, Barry Cohen, but Friday was a good day for the couple, because they got to take their baby girl, Natalia Hope, home from Jackson Memorial Hospital.

“It’s unbelievable. It’s surreal. I can’t believe that I got here,” said Silva. “I didn’t think I was going to make it.”

Friday was also the day the family was reunited with the multidisciplinary medical team that helped everyone stay together, happy and healthy.

Silva said her ordeal started when she was 19 weeks pregnant. She had a worrisome ultrasound, and the results, proven with an MRI, revealed that she had life-threatening plancental implantation abnormalities.

“At that moment, I didn’t know how bad things were going to get,” said Silva.

Silva was admitted to the hospital at 23 weeks and four days, and that’s when she realized just how dangerous her conditions were. They affect one in 300 births in the U.S. each year.

“It was a pretty scary conversation, I think, for her and her husband, and I reassured her that we had the expertise here at this institution to handle her case,” said Dr. Freddy Montero from UHealth’s Maternal/Fetal Medicine department.

“We decided to do a Caesarean section at 28 weeks, leave the placenta inside of the uterus, close the uterus and keep the patient in the hospital,” said Dr. Natalia Echeverri, a resident at JMH’s OB-GYN department.

During her six weeks in the hospital, doctors gave Silva chemotherapy to shrink the placenta and later safely performed a hysterectomy. There were complications along the way, but the patient and her infant daughter are doing well.

Natalia Hope is now twice her original weight of three pounds and two ounces.

“Physically, I’m great. I’m just happy to be alive,” said Silva.

She credited her faith and her medical team for this success story. Dr. Natalia Echeverri and Nurse Antwuanette Hope, the latter of whom inspired the baby’s name.

As for Silva and Cohen, they said they look forward to bringing their 10-month-old home and catching up on time lost.

“Just to be a family. Be whole and enjoy every single day, and just little things in life that I missed out,” said Silva.

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